Summary: Is there a spiritual elite that hear from God?
I am indebted tremendously to Jack Deere for bringing clarity to these ideas. His book is entitled, Surprised By the Voice of God. It is available from local bookstores or online at www.Christianbook.com if you would like to read more about this subject.
This morning I bring you the last message in the series –
Who Hears the Voice of God?
In our military forces there are a couple of million men and women who are serving, ready to defend the country and to advance the agenda set by our civilian leadership anywhere in the world. Within those military forces there are elite forces, specially trained men and women whose skills and dedication stand out above the crowd. The Army Rangers and the Navy Seals are two of those groups.
The men in these small groups train hard and have extraordinary courage. As a result they are able to do amazing things to advance military missions.
Some Christians believe that only choice Believers hear the voice of God. He reserves the honor of hearing His voice only for those blessed with some extraordinary skill, talent, or spiritual gifts. WRONG!
So who can hear the voice of God? Any Spirit-filled Believer! However, there are some choices you can make that will sharpen your spiritual ears and it those choices I’d like to talk about with you today.
1. Those who hear God’s voice are AVAILABLE to Him as His friends.
My wife occasionally will grab my attention with a sharp rebuke: “Are you listening to me?” I must confess that often she’s right. I am physically present at the dinner table, nodding appropriately in response to her conversation, but I’m not really available to her. I’ve drifted mentally to another place, to solving another problem, or thinking about something else. My inattention diminished our relationship at that moment.
There are levels at which we connect with people and rightly so.
∙ In the inner circle of our life, our spouse, our kids, and our closest friends have nearly complete access. We are available to these people. They can call on us anytime, anyplace, for just about as much support as we can give. We listen to them, care about them, and converse deeply with them.
∙ Moving out a level, there are those who are in our circle of friends to whom we are available most of the time. We’ll respond to their request for our help, listen to them, and share much our life with them.
∙ Moving out to the third level of connection we find neighbors and co-workers. We are available to these people at certain times and places for specific kinds of conversation. We are more generally guarded with established boundaries of access.
Those who most clearly hear the voice of God are those who have formed a deep friendship with the Lord.
Think of people in the Scripture who heard from God. Who heard the Lord’s voice best?
Jesus, of course. Why? Because He lived very, very close to His Father. Time and time again in the Gospels we are told that Jesus retreated to spend time alone with God. What was He doing? He was enjoying conversation with the Father.
Another man who heard God’s voice was Abraham. Three different times God spoke of Abraham as His friend. This man wasn’t perfect, either. He lied twice about his relationship to his wife to save his own skin! He doubted God’s promise and took his wife’s serving girl as a concubine. But, his heart was ready to receive correction and he constantly returned to the Lord with a confessional heart. He was thus called, “the friend of God” and heard the voice of the Lord guiding, directing him.
Moses spent such time with God that it caused his skin to shine! His face was so radiant when he came down from 40 days in the presence of the Lord that he wore a veil. His love for God is so evident in the words of Exodus 33:15-18 NLT Then Moses said,
“If you don’t go with us personally, don’t let us move a step from this place. If you don’t go with us, how will anyone ever know that your people and I have found favor with you? How else will they know we are special and distinct from all other people on the earth?” And the Lord replied to Moses, “I will indeed do what you have asked, for you have found favor with me, and you are my friend.” Then Moses had one more request. “Please let me see your glorious presence,” he said.
Are you a friend of God?
He has made an offer of friendship that stands. To the sinful people of Judah He said, Jeremiah 29:10-14 NIV
“When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the LORD. . .”